Maiden Voyage – Cape Charles KOA

We went on our first trip to the Cape Charles KOA Resort in Cape Charles, Virginia.  This trip entailed us going over State Route 13.  We had to cross the Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel.  For those who aren’t familiar with the Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel, let me tell you.  The CBBT is 23 miles long and crosses at the Hampton Roads Harbor and a large opening of the Chesapeake Bay.  The CBBT can be scary in a car, on a clear and bright day and will still have nasty wind coming across the bridge.

Now factor in a lead footed bandit, a half ton truck, and a huge ass trailer, two dogs, a bitchin wife, and a partridge and a pear tree.  I couldn’t even sit in the front seat.  My nerves were freaking frazzled.  I had my nails embedded in the seat in front of me, the truck felt like a tug boat with the way it was rocking and heaving.  Hubby got the very first wind shear and finally decided to listen to his wife and slow the hell down.  Don’t get me wrong, the speed limit was 55 and we were doing the speed limit but with that much weight and so many moving parts, 55 was not a good idea.

Now remember, this is our very first trip.  We had never actually had to park the RV anywhere before and this was our first spot.  Our first camp site, that just so happened to be a what?  Yeah, you guessed it…a back in site.  The KOA attendant was patient but he was also cracking jokes at us a bit.  Which, wasn’t really my idea of a fun time at that moment.  I noticed that when your pulling into a campground site, everyone stops and watches as you park.  After three failed attempts to get parked, a concerned citizen came over from his site and offered us the best advice for parking (we still use it today).  Once we got parked, we were off to the races.  We had full hook ups and we used our own appliances from home so I didn’t realize we didn’t turn the gas on.  We couldn’t figure out why the shower water was ice cold.

And to add insult to injury, I kept blowing fuses because I didn’t know that we don’t have the same voltage like we do at home.  All the girls had their cell phones plugged in and I was using electricty too so needless to say, I learned by trial and error what I can use and what I can’t use while I have stuff plugged in.  By the time Roderick had came back from working, I had already tried and failed a few times.

The KOA resort we stayed at was amazing.  For our first trip we were close enough to home but far enough away to not go home.  Our site was close to the pool and the beach area.  What I really loved was the dog beach.  My dogs and my grand doggy got a chance to let their hair down and enjoy themselves too.  The atmosphere was electric.  Music and a real sense of community.  I see why people love going to campgrounds now.  This tight night community of strangers is cool to see and expericence.  Of all the trips we have taken so far, Cape Charles KOA was my favorite.  The other campers really make the place fun and when my kids can drop their phones and have fun as well…well…there you have it.

A lot of times, people have the misconception of what an RV park is like.  Myself included!  I had this ill conceived notion that it would be noisy and the people would look and act a “certain way”  because this is the picture that is painted to the outside world and it’s truly not the case.  The people weren’t rowdy.  People followed the rules.  They rock out and party, are very inviting, cooked out, had campfires, sung a little karoake, and when quiet hours started, you could hear a pin drop.  I was so sad to leave but we had to get back to reality.

Here are the three take aways from our trip:

  1. Don’t start drinking too early in the day.  You may be passed out drunk by dinner.

  2. Preparation makes cooking meals a breeze.  I did a pretty good job of packing for our trip but cooking on the grill for every meal was not a good idea (for me…especially when it’s over a 100 degrees.)

  3. Don’t forget to pack sunblock.  The mosquitos didn’t eat us up but the sun sure as hell did.

A Birthday Letter of Sorts 

Today would have been your 75th birthday. I still hear your voice but sometimes it sounds like a faint whisper. 

I know your okay. I’m okay too. I wanted you to know what I’ve been up too since it’s   been so long and we don’t talk like we used to…

The week before last, I was in charge of a very big command milestone. I wore my brand new uniform (I can’t remember if I told you that the Navy finally made me a Chief).  So crisp, white and shiny. When I looked in the mirror, I thought I saw a glimpse of you…

Can you believe that in October I will have completed 20 years in the Navy? I reenlisted for 4 more. I wish you were here to see me finish what I started. 

I hope I still make you proud…

My oldest has been working her real grown up job for a year now. Can you believe she’s 23? Where has the time gone?

These tears as I write this feels like it was just yesterday and not 8 years ago. 

The girls are getting so big and so are their mouths. I find myself pulling a play from your playbook. Who knew…I would morph into sounding like my mama completely. 

The boy…a big handful. Spoiled rotten. Attached to my hip. Yet, he keeps the laughter in my house. He forces me to keep using my imagination. You’ve never seen him before. He’s so silly. He looks just like his dad. 

Yesterday Roderick and I celebrated our 8 year anniversary. Can you believe it? Someone has been able to put up with my crap for 8 years. His hair hasn’t turned white yet so I guess I haven’t “plucked his last damn nerve yet.” Your words. Not mine. 

After 8 years he finally got me a present with real meaning. Guess squawking really pays off. I wanted you to see it. 

Some things haven’t changed much. I still drink my MT Dew, vacuum my floors in the same direction, love my bacon, and desserts. I have stepped up my cooking game. I will probably go to culinary school next year if I can fit it into my schedule. We will see. 

I don’t want you to be mad because I haven’t been to your grave. I can’t bring myself to do it. I hold you in my heart always and I don’t need to go there to be reminded of who you are. 

Until next time, I love and miss you. Happy Birthday, Ma!

Love always,



It feels like yesterday when you were born. I had been in labor for hours. The pain of it all was so unreal. They gave me more pain medicine but the contractions weren’t stopping. 

Ten hours go by and then more and as slow as you wanted to go you suddenly changed your mind and in a matter of minutes a doctor lifted up the sheet just in enough time to catch you. It was a blur!

First sounds, first teeth, first steps, and your first year. Time can be so unkind sometimes. Moving so quickly, with each minute passing quicker and quicker. Like a blur! With a blink of an eye you were in kindergarten. 

My career choices made it impossible to be two places at the same time and during all the years I was gone. In its place…a blur

Now your a grown up and everything in between is a blur. I have some good memories and the guilt. All the wishing, hoping and praying. Still feels like a blur

Life is like a blur!

What Kind of Mom Would I Be?

What kind of mom would I be…if I 

Didn’t have expectations?

What kind of mom would I be…if I

Didn’t ask questions?

What kind of mom would I be…if I

Didn’t make you keep the standards?

What kind of mom would I be…if I

Didn’t ask how was your day?

What kind of mom would I be…if I

Didn’t give you an outlet to vent?

What kind of mom would I be…if I

Didn’t have your trust?

What kind of mom would I be…if I

Didn’t have your respect?

What kind of mom would I be…if I

Didn’t push you even when you wanted to quit?

What kind of mom would I be…if I

Didn’t hold your hand when you were scared?

What kind of mom would I be…if I

Didn’t try to move hell and high water to make sure you had everything you ever wanted or needed?

What kind of mom would I be…if I

Didn’t listen to your long day at work?

What kind of mom would I be…if I 

Didn’t keep you company on your long drive home?

What kind of mom would I be…if I

Didn’t want you to text me to say your home safe?

What kind of mom would I be…if I

Didn’t always make sure your boyfriend always treats you right?

What kind of mom would I be…if I

Didn’t turn you into a responsible law abiding citizen?

What kind of mom would I be…if I

Didn’t embarrass you at least once a week?

What kind of mom would I be…

Didn’t make you mutter “I hate you” in your mind at least weekly?

What kind of mom would I be…

Didn’t check your phone?

What kind of mom would I be…

What kind of mom would I be…

What kind of mom would I be…

What kind of mom would I be?

Dixie’s Day Out

Sometimes I wish I could see what it’s like to be a dog. Just maybe for a couple of hours. These dogs that I live with look like they live the good life. But I have a soft spot for Dixie, ten years ago she came into my life after she was rescued. She’s getting up in age and was struggling to be able to climb in and out of the car so she had to stop going everywhere with me. She’s very heavy and trying to put her in the car was too much.  When I picked out my new SUV, I made sure it had running boards so she could get in and out the car again. 

It had been a while since she got to ride in the car. She got to remember again what it felt to be young again. She looked so liberated and free. This dog is well traveled and loves a good ​car ride. I’m just glad I could make her day. 

Mother to Daughter




 Mother to daughter…daughter to Mother


My mother, may God rest her soul.  She is me, I am her.  My daughters…they are me and I am them.  Relationships can be perplexing.  Relationships between mothers and daughters are the most perplexing.  

Daughters like me spend all their time trying not to be like their mothers.

What perplexes me is how or why do girls try to not be like their mothers?  When we are little, we see the mother as the woman that’s so great and you want to be like them.  We imitate dressing, make up, and even playing with their shoes.  

Where does that relationship change? 

When does it change?

Do we become ashamed? 

I thought girls were supposed to admire their mothers? 

Why is the one woman that you admire most the, the same person you try hard not to become?  

Why do we get upset when someone says that you act just like your mom?

I wonder about this sometimes. 

My first child was born when I was 17.  My relationship is different with her and very strained with my youngest daughter and my middle daughter is from another mother.  Our relationship is rocky and probably won’t change until she’s grown.

My mother and I are very alike and that’s scary.  Was this why we had so much distance between us?

My oldest sister and my mother were very close.  Kind of like the relationship that I have with my oldest daughter.  How did that come to be?  Is it because it’s the first child and they’ve survived the experiment before the other kids were born?

I look at #3 and it’s like looking in the mirror.  She looks so much like me.  Does our likeness make us worlds apart?

I’m so confused.  I am not my mother but yet I am.  Why was I so ashamed of her?  Am I ashamed?  Is my drive to work so hard driven by shame?  Or is it driven by the knowledge that our kids are supposed to do better than what we’ve accomplished as parents?  Is the distance between #3 and I there because I see myself?  Or is it because my own mother loved me but she wasn’t the affectionate type?  Ironically, she was the affectionate type to other people’s children.  Miss Yvonne was loved by many and she showed love or told them she loved them.  She wasn’t that way to me until I have moved away from home and had been away for a little while.  I try to figure out why I am so bottled up.  I hardly pay #3 any special attention to her.  #3 is self sufficient.  I’ve taught #3 how to cook, clean, and take care of herself, thoroughly.  My expectations of #3, is that she can hold her own unlike #1 and #4.  My patience is always short with #3.  I expect the best from her and I’m uncompromising when it comes to her.  Is it because she’s me?  Is it because I know who she comes from and I have such high standards for me?

Was my mother thinking the same about me?  Did she live through me?  Did she know something about me that I just don’t see?  I didn’t learn to understand (somewhat) my mother until right before she died.  Our real conversations didn’t begin until illness took a hold of her body and she was forced to deal with her mortality.  Her relationships with her kids were all on an individual basis.  She knew her kids each on a different level.  (I guess we all do when we have kids.  We (as the parents) know our kids on a different level that an outsider (other siblings, relatives, etc.) wouldn’t understand.  She just wasn’t open as most mothers are.  She just knew how to connect with each one.  At her funeral, I truly had my first glimpse of what that meant.  Each child had different experiences and stories of her.  Some of them, we were hearing for the first time.  Except for me.  I had basically spent my while life fighting her.  Trying to figure out what my place in her life was or running away from her.  For me, I was running away from the shame.  The shameful life that I thought she lived.  

What kind of shame did I have?  My mother didn’t drink, she didn’t use drugs, she didn’t sell her body, and she didn’t even have boyfriends.  I was still ashamed.  I was so ashamed because I didn’t understand how she could be so poor.  Not just poor but poor poor.


My shame came from what I thought was a lack of money.  I hated when we used food stamps at the grocery store.  I wanted the ground to open up and swallow me when was forced to use food stamps.  I was even more embarrassed when my friends would eagerly take the food stamps my mother would give them to go to the sore.  

My mother had clothes galore.  Her closets were overflowing with clothes, however; she would stand out at the bus stop with me (every morning…rain or shine…sick or well) with multi-colored striped socks.  These socks were pulled all the way up to her knees, holey shorts (or air conditioned as she would say), and a t-shirt (that was so raggedy that it was being held together by a string), a long johns shirt, hat, and these tennis shoes that were so old and raggedy that I couldn’t even identify what kind of tennis shoes there were any more.  These shoes were holding on by faith.  The kids that knew her didn’t care how she was dressed they just loved her.  The kids that didn’t know her gave me non-stop grief.  

I didn’t want her to come to my school.  In the sixth grade, my school allowed us to go to Washington D.C. for a week.  My mother wanted to chaperone but I flat out refused the request.  I asked my aunt to go instead.  I remember the hurt in her eyes.  She never talked about it again.  When I left, she told me to have a safe trip.  When I came home, I experienced and attitude that was off the charts.  She was so mean.  She didn’t care if I had a great time on my trip and she didn’t want to hear how my trip went.  It seemed like forever back then but she was very sad and upset with me for a few weeks.  Maybe this is why she was so distant.  She knew that I was ashamed of her.  With plenty of hindsight now, what could she have done differently?  Her hands were tied.  Our circumstances were different.  I was a late in life baby.

My siblings were almost grown when I was born.  Our family had gone through a transition.  My mother and father were no longer together after 30 plus years of being married.  She was no longer plagued with infidelity or abuse any more.  Her new challenge was how to take care of herself on her own.  The half hearted security of being a house wife was no longer her security blanket.  The same lady whose lap I used to sit in when I was small and sing silly songs was no more.  Life became harder for a woman who’s level of education stopped somewhere around the 9th grade.  Her entire adult life she was a housewife.  A housewife with no job skills or experience, she had to depend on her adult children and other relatives to help her.  Her cost for her freedom left her a shell of a woman.

I’m not sure if there’s such a thing as a perfect parent.  What elements make a great parent?  I didn’t know I was poor growing up until someone told me that I was poor.  I didn’t know that I lacked anything until society told me that I was lacking.  Society told me that I didn’t have everything that I was supposed to have by society standards.  I was the happiest when I was poor.  I can sum that into my life right now.  I loved spending time with my sisters, aunts, uncles, cousins, etc.  I was a happy kid and there was no one like them.  

As I walked out of her apartment for the last time, I realized that my mother was a very blessed woman.  What I thought was hoarding (okay, part of it really was) was just a woman blessed beyond belief.  She had an over flow of friends, family, and riches that money could never buy.  What did my mother teach me?  What did I learn?  What kind of mother will my children think I will be once they are all grown and out of the house with families of their own?  What will my legacy be?

My mother taught me how to be this fearless woman with a lot of heart.  I was taught that you can have it all.  It won’t be easy and I will have to work hard at whatever it is that I want to do.  She supported my decisions regardless of how she felt about them.  I was raised with family.  I know that my family comes first and I need to do all I can to keep my family together.

I love my kids.  My daughters have a great mother because I had a great mother.  I’m not perfect.  I have to show my daughters that this life we have is great.  Go out and take on the world head on.  I can’t teach them to go after their dreams.  I can only show them how I’m going after my own dreams and hope that it will lead them to their own aspirations.  I will always be honest and available to my girls.  I will learn to listen and to become slower about giving my own opinion.  

I have traveled the world.  I am working the career of my dreams.  I can only hope to be half the woman that my mother was.  I hope that my daughters will be half the woman that I have become.

“My mother…she is me.  I am her.  My daughters…they are me…I am them.”

When I take my last breathe and God calls me home, I can only pray that my daughters know that I did my best and that I loved them with my soul.  I will hope they will be able to look back at my life as a blueprint to their own lives.  I hope they will consider me a good woman who they would be proud of.